Authors: Laramie Briscoe
“Snap out of it, Blackfoot.” He shook his head. He hadn’t had feelings like this in a long time, and maybe it was because he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’d never been this happy in his life, had never been this content. In his experience, good things didn’t happen for him without something else going sideways, and he hated to think he was setting himself up for failure. Fuck, maybe it was time to see Doc Jones.
He passed Mandy on the road a few miles from the house and breathed a breath of relief. He didn’t know why a teenage girl made him feel better, and he wouldn’t freely admit that to anyone else, but he knew there was strength in numbers, and he knew Mandy was one bad-ass chick. She was quiet, but she knew what the fuck to do to keep herself safe, her dad had made sure of that.
Meredith had just settled back on the couch with her work on her lap when she saw headlights coming up the driveway. Sighing, she put her paperwork on the coffee table and walked to unlock the front door so the teenager could come inside. Meredith watched, amused, as Mandy carefully parked the car Liam had given her for straight A’s on her report card. It was by no means brand new or anything like that, but she loved it and took care of it as if it were a piece of glass. Drew, on the other hand, already had a slew of dents on the pickup truck he’d been given for two summers of hard work at Walker’s Wheels. It was just one of the ways the twins differed.
“Hey.” Meredith waved as Mandy got out of the car grabbing her purse and a bag.
“Hey, I hope you don’t mind, but I packed a bag. Dad said it’d be late.” She held the bag up.
“Not at all, you know we finally finished the remodel. There’s a room you can have all to yourself, and there hasn’t been another chick sleeping here other than me and Addie in a long time.” Meredith thought back to the last time. Layne and Jessica had come over to have dinner, and the guys had gotten to talking after dinner; Meredith had done bath time with Addie, and Jessica had escaped to the empty bedroom with her laptop. By the time she came out, Layne was asleep on the couch and Meredith and Tyler were passed out in their own bedroom—she’d decided to take the empty bed. When Jessica was in what they called “writing mode” no one could break through.
“Good, Drew’s gettin’ on my damn nerves. I need a night away from him.” She scowled as she stomped up the porch steps.
“Why don’t you come in and tell me all about it. I’m probably more apt to be on your side than your mom is. You know she has to keep her personal feelings out of it.”
“I know.” Mandy blew a breath out, causing her bangs to stand up straight for a moment. “Her being Switzerland is really annoying, especially when she knows he’s an ass.”
Meredith laughed. “Go put your stuff up and we’ll talk about it.”
Just as Mandy made her way to the back room, Meredith felt her phone vibrate. Pulling it out of her sweatpants pocket, she saw a message from Denise.
Sooooo sorry you’re dealing with teenage drama tonight. She’s pissed and she has a right to be, give her a little auntie love, she needs it.
Oh, whatever this was, it was going to be interesting. Meredith quickly fired off an answering text.
When Mandy came back into the living room, she’d changed; she now wore sweatpants and a tank top and in her hand she had her laptop. “If you have stuff to do, I do too.” She motioned to the MacBook.
“Kinda think I’m done with working for the night,” Meredith told her as she put a pen on top of the paperwork she’d started to work on. “What’s going on with you and Drew?” There was no point in beating around the bush. It was the proverbial elephant in the room.
Mandy’s eyes narrowed and her cheeks turned red. “I’m so pissed and, honestly, a little embarrassed. You know that Drew and Charity have been screwing around for a while.”
Honestly, Meredith didn’t know that for sure—only what Tyler alluded to—and she wasn’t sure if Denise knew that, but she nodded anyway. “Yeah.” She took a drink of the tea that helped her sleep at night.
“Well, he took dad’s truck the other day, and he was bragging that he’d banged her in it, and I didn’t think that was right. This is Charity. Other people could hear it. Dalton was one of the ones that heard it, and they laughed, like it was awesome. It rubbed me wrong, because no one should be talkin’ about that. It pissed me off at not only Drew, but Dalton too. I said so, and I let Drew know just how pissed off I was. We were arguing and he was in my face.” She sighed, running a hand through her hair. “You know when we argue, we say stuff to piss each other off. I told him that I hoped his friends didn’t kiss and tell the way he did, especially Dalton, because I wanted him to get the picture that I don’t want him telling my
,” she emphasized the word, “what we do together.”
She stopped and took a deep breath. Meredith wanted to offer something, but she had no idea what else the boys had done to tick off the girl in front of her. She situated herself on the chair she’d had a seat on so that she could look Meredith in the face. Her face was redder and there was hurt in her eyes.
“Do you know what Drew said?” She didn’t wait for Meredith to answer. “He said there was nothin’ for Dalton to brag about because I still hadn’t put out for him.”
Meredith gasped. Drew had said that?
“Now I’m pissed beyond belief at both of them. Drew warned me about having sex with Dalton; he gave me this whole spiel about how I needed to make sure it was right and blah blah blah, and then Dalton,” she crossed her arms over her chest, “he told me he was fine with it, and now I find out he’s bitching to my damn brother.”
Meredith didn’t know what to say.
Mandy, however had words for both of them. “I’m fuckin’ pissed.”
And it was obvious that she very much was.
hy did Mandy run outta here like her ass was on fire?” Liam asked Denise as he grabbed his leather cut. He’d been tucking Tatum in and had heard raised voices, but knew if anyone had the details, it would be Denise.
She sighed. “Drew and Dalton. I’m not sure what all was said, but they were bragging about getting girls.”
“Were they braggin’ about
girls?” He grinned and blew out a gust of air as she smacked him in the stomach.
“As long as I have no proof, my son is still my little boy,” she told him, running a hand through her hair. “Anyway, whatever they said really upset Mandy. She threw some stuff in a bag and was gone.”
“These teenagers are gonna be the death of us,” he breathed out, pulling her into his arms, circling her in his embrace.
She melted there a few moments, letting the stress of the day go away. It was the best place she had ever been and the best place she ever could be. “Don’t I know it? I don’t understand what happened. I moved in and married you, and then one day we woke up and they talked back, wanted to drive, and then started asking for millions of dollars. This is all your fault,” she blamed him, a smile on her face.
“You know I like spoiling all of you, and you have to admit the kids work hard. They earn what they get, but if Drew is talkin’ about girls that way, I feel like I need to talk to him or somethin’. There’s no reason for him to be talking to Mandy like that. I honestly can’t believe he said it, ’cause I overheard a conversation between him and Mandy a few months ago. He was warning her away from Dalton.”
Denise was proud of her son for a moment and then remembered why Mandy had left so quickly. “You know how they get when they’re with their friends. I’m sure she’ll come home tomorrow and all will be well, but he does owe her an apology.”
An alarm went off, and Liam pulled his phone out of his pocket. “I gotta be goin’. You be careful and lock up. Drew’s staying in tonight, I asked him if he would.”
“You know I can take care of myself, just like Mer can.”
Liam nodded. “I know, and Tyler knows, but it gives us piece of mind to know that there’s people with you two. Humor us.”
“Love you.” She laughed as he walked out of the door, yelling it back at her.
If someone had told her years ago this was how her life was going to be, she would have said they were lying, but she wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.
“Did Mandy make it over to your place alright?” Liam asked Tyler as he made his way into the garage to get his bike.
Tyler nodded, blowing smoke away from the group that was gathered. “She did.”
“Mer’s got her hands full tonight ’cause baby girl is pissed.” He recounted the story to Tyler, who shook his head, a smirk on his face.
“Those boys will learn. It might take them a while, just like it took us a while, but they will learn.”
Liam shook his head too, knowing that it was going to take something big, but he knew they would indeed learn. He just hoped he wasn’t dealing with a group of teenagers all with broken hearts by the time school started in four weeks. “Is everybody here?”
He took a head count, making sure he had Jagger, Tyler, Layne, and himself.
“Where are we goin’?” Jagger asked as he put leather gloves over his bare hands. He was nothing if not safe at all times when he was on his bike. He was one of the few that now wore a closed faced helmet while on runs.
“Up north.” Liam pulled some papers out of his saddle bag. “There’s a truck heading from here to Upton and stopping at the garage. He’s going to have an issue while he’s there. Our job is to make sure it gets from Bowling Green to Upton in one piece. We’ll pick it up over on Duntov Way as it comes from the parts manufacturing plant.”
If anyone was curious as to what that truck held or why they were having to escort it, no one said. It would be a quick in-and-out job, and hopefully they’d be back in a few hours.
“Are we expecting trouble?” Layne asked as he checked the chamber of his gun.
“I’m not expecting it, but this same trucking company lost a trailer two weeks ago. That’s why they asked if we could escort.”
That was all they needed to know. They would be alert, they would stay tight to the truck, and they would get it there in one piece and they would all come back in one piece.